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The grace of God is such a vast subject that scholars have filled volumes in examining its aspects. Every believer, however, needs to know the special ways that God's grace is essential to living and growing in the midst of our circumstances.

One of my priorities has always been that the truths from God's Word bring an impact into a person's situation. Truth which cannot be implemented and experienced is of no more value than error.

An important truth about grace is found in 1 Peter:
Whatever gift each of you may have received, use it in service to one another, like good stewards dispensing the grace of God in its varied forms. Are you a speaker? Speak as if you uttered oracles of God. Do you give service? Give it as in the strength which God supplies. In all things so act that the glory may be God's through Jesus Christ; to him belong glory and power forever and ever. Amen.
(1 Peter 4:10-11 NEB)
A steward administers or exercises responsible care over possessions entrusted to him. The thought of being a good steward over anything does not carry a great excitement or sense of outstanding importance.

In fact, at times it can seem very common and mundane.

But stewardship is really the day-to-day establishing of God's ways and manner in His kingdom. You must do His will, His way, or it will never become established in you.

As a believer, you have been entrusted with God's grace. It is a power placed within your heart to sustain you and influence you. Second Peter 1:3 says He has deposited all things that pertain to life and godliness within your heart. His grace is there to empower you to fulfill all He has called you to do.

The wise steward of grace is to faithfully distribute God's gifts to meet needs. It is not to meet his own needs alone, but to become a vessel of God's divine flow into others.

Within every true believer's heart is the desire to be used by God in showing His goodness and His might against the devil's works. The real richness of the Christian life is in having God's great delivering power flow through you.

Remember, grace is the kindness of a master toward his inferiors or servants. So it is clearly grace that God has toward mankind. But, according to Thayer's Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament, it is also His merciful kindness, exerting His holy influence upon us to turn us, keep us, strengthen us and increase us in His ability to do His will.

In Acts 6:8 notice, "And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people" (NAS). It was grace and power that made Stephen stand head and shoulders above others.

Grace empowered him to move with God and bring wonders and signs of God's anointing. It will put you into that kind of life, if you act wisely as its steward.

The Apostle Peter described this grace as having various aspects. The King James Version translates it as the "manifold grace of God" in 1 Peter 4:10. Notice The Amplified Bible translation of this verse:
As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God's many-sided grace—faithful stewards of the extremely diverse [powers and gifts granted to Christians by] unmerited favor.
Each of us has received a gift from God. It is not only the gift of grace and salvation, but also a specific facet of His own grace to work in us and reveal His greatness.

A Variety Of Gifts
The word translated gift in the New Testament is a gift of grace, according to Thayer. The root word in Greek is grace and really indicated the results of grace. So the various gifts named in the New Testament can be understood as "gifts of grace."

It is easy to grasp this concept when you consider them separately. Each is an area that needs God's influence and empowering to function.

First Corinthians 12 lists nine gifts of the Holy Spirit that will flow through Christians to enable them to minister effectively. They are manifestations of the Spirit of God in power, revelation, and utterance.

But other gifts are mentioned in the New Testament. In Romans 12:6, the Apostle Paul says, "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us...." He then proceeds to list seven gifts of grace in which some will function.

In Ephesians 4:7 Paul says, "Naturally there are different gifts and function; individually grace is given to us in different ways out of the rich diversity of Christ's giving" (Phillips, 1960 edition).

Verse 11 adds, "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers" (NKJV). These are gift ministries to the Body of Christ for equipping and maturing the Church.

There is yet another list of gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:28: "And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues" (NKJV).

These gifts are not named in some order of importance or authority that places apostles at the top of God's list. Rather, they appear in an order of function in His plan. All have the same standing in the kingdom of God. Every person has been bought with the same price and holds the same place of importance in the Father's heart.

Scripture refers to more than 20 different gifts, all of them the outward workings of the godly influence within the hearts of God's people.

Understanding The Gift And Calling
To be a true steward of God's grace, you must understand not only the grace given to every believer, but also the unique calling and gifting of the Holy Spirit for each life.

We are not all the same nor are we called to be clones of some superstar in Christianity. We each are in Christ and must cultivate our place of service to Him. When this becomes real to you, the importance of the various positions in the Body of Christ will be easy to appreciate.

The gift speaks more of the One Who gave it than the one who now possesses it. God's gifts in a person really point to Him. They testify to His ability to do extraordinary things through ordinary people.

This frees us from the destructive trap of comparison and competition. We are not in a race against others in the kingdom of God, and we must not measure our success or failure by the abilities or grace in others.

If I belong to God, then I must serve Him. In 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul said,
For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
(2 Cor. 10:12 NKJV)
Significance is not in how big or small my contribution may seem, but rather in the One Who has told me to do what I do.

If I can be confident that I am following the voice of the Lord, and being a good steward of His grace and precious gifts, then that is all the significance I need.

Source: Grace Beyond Your Ability by Dennis Burke
Excerpt permission granted by Dennis Burke Ministries

Author Biography

Dennis Burke, Ph.D.
Web site: Dennis Burke Ministries
Since 1979, Dennis Burke has led multitudes of believers into the biblical principles of faith, healing, love, prosperity, and righteousness. Through the Insights: the Way to a New Life magazine, books, eBooks, CDs, and mp3 resources, Dennis has brought revelation knowledge on the truths of God's Word. He has taught Christians everywhere to know God more deeply and overcome the challenges life brings through faith in God's Word.

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